When women get drunk they turn into men.
I like that — if I like them. I like Val. Not that I’m the type of man who would take advantage of a woman who had perhaps had a bit past her limit. But I should make it clear that if they want to take advantage of me, well, I am always considerate.
It wasn’t just the tears, or the slurred speech that confirmed Val’s inebriated state. It was the way she invited me into her place – by the belt buckle. She almost tossed me into the kitchen and stood there breathing through her mouth – not unattractively – hanging onto the counter for balance.
I had seen her this way before – not often – but I’d seen this behavior. I knew what was up. The crème brullee had gotten to the poor girl. I could tell. All that faux seductive behavior at the restaurant had turned on her brain stem. I knew what to do. Give her room and let her lead the way.
I hung up my coat and sat down at the little dinette – a cute little 1950’s steel table with tubular legs and a turquoise enamel top. All I could do was sit there in the reflected blue-green glow.
She reached into the cupboard and pulled out two Flintstone juice glasses. You can tell a woman’s classy if her glassware matches. She pulled a bottle of wine out of the fridge.
I could have said, “Val, don’t you think you’ve had enough?” But I was trying to be a sensitive guy.
It was a nice, slightly sweet California Beaujolais. I know my wine. There was a little hiss as she poured it out. She handed me Wilma. Putting her to my lips, my tongue touched the white pearls circling her neck, and I slowly but steadily sucked down her contents. Val, who was sipping on Barney, refilled my date. We weren’t talking. She didn’t like to talk when she was enabling.
The second time, I lingered with Wilma. My fingers were on her impossibly thin waist. I sipped. Valerie pulled me and my chair back from the table. She touched my neck gently, slowly squeezed my shoulders. She refilled my glass. Reaching over me with the bottle, her breast brushed my ear. She meant to do it. She did it again, just barely. I love these subtle signals.
She moved around in front of me, turning out the kitchen light on the way. Streetlight through the partially opened plastic blinds and the night light from the hall towards the bedroom gave her auburn hair a glow.
Her fair skin had its own internal light. She sat on the table, reached out, and pulled me closer. I just went along, letting her bend her head down to kiss the top of my head. The slight touch of a tongue to my forehead was a drug.
As she straightened, I took a slow mouthful of wine, put down the glass, and began to touch her, I think. Was I touching her? So very barely touching her. I didn’t want to blink. I didn’t want to drool, either, so I swallowed the wine.
I wanted to see her. Clothes don’t come off easily in real life like they do in bad novels or good movies. I won’t tell you I am any good at this kind of sleight of hand, but that dress… the fabled dress… it didn’t come undone… it simply dissolved. Like some dream you have… was I dreaming?
Valerie’s breasts are memorable. But every time I see them, it’s like the first time. They are so right. If she’d let me, I’d just stare at them for hours. That’s hardly surprising. Hugh Hefner made a fortune exploiting that particular characteristic of male hard wiring.
I put a bit more wine in my mouth and used my lips to explore various sensitive areas on said breasts — two particular pink features — each in its turn, slowly, as I kind of swished the wine around. It may have sounded — to the unsophisticated — like a pre-gargle Listerine swish, but Val responded, nonetheless.
She made one of those low sounds. Just at the lower range of human hearing, but my senses were sharp. I heard her and replied in kind. Biology was taking over. It was that point when all the civilized parts of the brain relax and let the monkey mind take over. My inner chimp was on the verge. Jesus, I still had my pants on. They were tan pants — it would show.
There was no hurry at all. For her, anyway. Personally, I was beginning to feel some urgency. Sitting on that little dinette chair reminded me. I needed to buy some of those loose- fitting trousers if we were going to do this again.
She kissed the top of my head while I worried her nipples with just the slightest edge of my teeth. Don’t get the wrong impression. I am not God’s gift to women. I had been well trained by Valerie over the years. Early on, during my tryouts, she told me if I was hitting or missing. With enough rewards and just a few punishments, even a chicken can learn to play the piano. We were way past “Chopsticks.”
Her hands were on my head now, petting my hair – twisting it in her fingers. I let my hands wander on their own. I was breathing pretty hard and thinking about baseball trivia so that I could stay in this game. Joe Morgan played three games at third for the Reds in ‘82.
Not just any baseball factoid helps alleviate my performance anxiety. I cannot think about the New York Yankees. The Bronx Bombers are entirely too sexual — unsurprising for a team that featured a guy named “Babe” as one of its all-time stars. Plus the Pinstripers have a habit of clinching the pennant early, and that was precisely what I was trying to avoid.
Valerie stood up. I sat back, and my eyes took her in. She had an intense look on her face, and her body, with the shadows and curves melding, seemed to grow out of the night. She gave me a look that almost frightened me. Like if she’d had a knife and fork in her hands I might have been the entree – for real. She sat back down on the table, and I let my fingernails skitter across her skin. She leaned back. Her right foot explored my… Well let’s just say the game got serious. Who won the ‘85 World Series? Propped up on her elbows, she looked down at me. It was a real interesting angle. I love a scenic view.
My mouth found her thigh just above the knee, and now my eyes were locked with hers. The inside of her thigh was so smooth. She opened them, legs and eyes slightly wider. From thigh to thigh I moved my tongue lightly, while my hands reached up to her breasts. My fingertips made circles touching everything except… She liked that. Then she touched a few things. I liked that. An excited woman caressing herself makes me, out of necessity; compute batting averages in my head. Le Grand Orange hit .299 with the Tigers in ‘76. As she kept running her fingers around, I was getting close to reciting earned run averages out loud. Wilbur Woods 1.87 in ‘68. There were more sounds now. They were quiet… but I heard them.
There’s some skill involved, but mostly it’s luck and persistence. This could have been five minutes; it could have been an hour. My mouth was on her.
She grabbed my head, and suddenly the sounds were loud. Her thighs closed around me. She stiffened, shuddered, and pressed against me. For a second I couldn’t breathe; then she collapsed back on the dinette table.
My face felt cool as the slight draft in the room touched it. Valerie was pulling in air in big gulps that gradually slowed. One of her fingers was circling my left ear. Her other arm was thrown back under her head. She was looking at me.
“My God…my God…my God,” she said.
I was looking at her, too. I had never seen anything more beautiful than all of her naked on that table that night, that moment. With the exception of Barry Bonds swinging a bat. Wait, I could forget about that now.
“Let’s get in bed.” What did she say? Was that Valerie, my Valerie? I was so happy. I didn’t get to sleep with Valerie very often. Have sex? Yes. Sleep together? This might be getting serious again.
She led me by the hand, and we got into her bed. The sheets were cool and clean. So were her hands; I love her hands. She put those lovely thighs to either side of me and slowly slid down on me. I may have shouted out, “Tinker to Evers to Chance!” I do know that the neighbors pounded on the ceiling. I slept so well that night.
I hope that wasn’t a problem. I hope you understand why I told you about that. It wasn’t really necessary for the advancement of the plot. It sure wasn’t artistic. I’m no D.H. Lawrence or Jackie Collins. But I wanted you to understand Val and me. See, you needed to understand why Val, an intelligent, feminist lawyer, former rich girl, would hang out with me, a seemingly hopeless drunk. Now you know. No, not because I’m a great lover, but because of my little kink.
Everybody’s got their kink, the thing that turns them on. You’ve got yours. I’ve got mine. The trick is finding that person whose kink fits yours.
My kink? It’s simple. I don’t want to dominate, don’t like shoes, keep your latex, and don’t hit me. What gets me is a woman’s pleasure. Oh, I like my pleasure, too. But unless the woman I am with is feeling it and showing it, I’d rather watch “Wheel of Fortune” and eat Froot Loops. Valerie’s kink?
She loves it when somebody cares about her pleasure, man or woman, as it turns out, but that’s another story. And maybe she likes me because I’m the exact opposite type from her super-rich, controlling, status-hungry father. Then again, her dad and I are both thieves of a sort. So maybe the old, “you fall in love with your dad” saw is right. Whatever, for the last few years, we’re an occasional perfect fit. So now you know. Let’s not bring the lovemaking deal in the kitchen up again. O.K.?
When I woke up, I wasn’t hung over, but I was miserable. I was facing the window. It looked like a beautiful day in the metro. Valerie was spooned up against my back. That warm feeling is priceless, but I turned cold. Her arm draped over me, she was lazily twirling the chain of my St. Christopher medal around and around her finger.
Mikey and I had both gotten our medals when we were altar boys. The thing is, of course, Saint Christopher isn’t even a Saint anymore. Some bleary-eyed clerics had emerged from the Vatican cellars some time back. They had been going through parchments, prophecies, spread sheets, and the World Book Encyclopedia for two hundred years and discovered that Chris was a myth. Turns out he didn’t carry the stranger, who turned out to be the Christ child, across the swollen river. Turns out all the holy cards were wrong. Turns out Saint Christopher was only Mister Christopher. They didn’t make a big deal out of the demotion. The Church didn’t command all the parents who had named kids “Chris” to change their names. We’ll let the case of Saint Nick alone for now.
She played with the chain. “I have to get up.” She said it directly into my ear. The air from her words — well, blow in my ear and I’ll follow you anywhere.
“Sure, I’ll make some coffee.”
“The last time you tried that you took the enamel off my ‘Worlds Best Lawyer’ mug. I’ll make it.” She crawled over me to get out of bed. Sweet Jesus! That was nice.
I got a good look at her little ass as she headed for the bathroom. Damn, God does great work. Valerie, by the way, is forty-two years old. She’s older than me, which is a little exciting, though I really don’t think about that. I like women, not girls. That’s the way I’m built.
Pretty soon I could smell the French Vanilla. That got me up. When I emerged into the kitchen, I grabbed a mug and poured some. I slopped in a little non-dairy creamer. Ever wonder what that stuff is?
I can’t tell you exactly, but I knew a guy who used to work in one of the giant open pit creamer mines in Wyoming. They’d expose a big shelf of the stuff and then hose it down with high pressure water. Millions of gallons of non-dairy slurry would flow down to the evaporators. Then they’d just scoop it off the thousand acre drying pans, pour the powder into railroad hopper cars, and send it east for packaging. That’s what I heard, anyway.
I settled back on a chair at the table. It was my favorite table in the world. Valerie came in. She knew what I was thinking.
“No, you can’t stay, I’ve got to get to work. You need to go home and change. That outfit is way too familiar.”
She wasn’t exactly testy but it was morning, and last night’s religious experience had receded enough so she could be comfortable. Intimacy can make Val twitch like a tiger dreaming about a zoo.
“You going to be Mikey’s lawyer?”
“You can’t? Why not? You said he didn’t do it.” I felt Mr. Chris.
“I was Terri’s attorney, asshole. The Bar would frown on me representing her alleged murderer.”
“Right, so what are you going to…”
“I’m going to nose around. I’ll see what the cops have. See if I can pick up any more scuttlebutt around the courthouse. I’m a little curious about why Kensington was so quick to deny knowing Doug Hunter. And that porn tape – odd.”
“Yeah he got kind of cranky when you brought up his stay at Assumption.”
“You said he got in trouble? That’s why he got sent up there?”
“That’s what I heard. He was supposed to go to Yale I think, but he got in trouble his senior year over at Waldo-Francis High.”
“W.F.H.” Val laughed. She knew the rep that rich-kid school had.
“That’s right. Wealthy Fuckers High.”
“What kind of trouble?”
“Never heard. It wasn’t unusual for a well-to-do family to dump an incorrigible bit of privileged DNA off at my money hungry alma mater. They’d get a DUI or a minor drug bust and the options were military school or Assumption. Catholics usually chose to send the misunderstood moppets along with a big donation to Assumption.”
“Maybe I’ll check and see if there are any court records.” Val was chewing on a fingernail – thinking.
“You know how that kind of thing works, Val. The records will be sealed.”
She just muttered, “I have a friend.” She bit into her thumbnail. “You got any ideas?”
“Sure, I’ll figure out something.” I didn’t tell her that what I’d figured out was, Mikey did dood it — I watched way too many cartoons as a kid. I needed to talk to my brother. The first problem; he wasn’t likely to be allowed visitors for awhile. The second problem was that as a convicted felon, I couldn’t visit him no how. The third problem… I was afraid of the answer, but I had to ask. “Who is Mikey’s lawyer then?”
“Thad? Shit, Mikey’s in real trouble.”
“Thad stopped drinking a month ago.”
“That’s what I mean.” There is, in my mind, nothing worse than a sober drunk. Even drunk, Cuddigan wasn’t that good. For a lawyer, he sure couldn’t hold his liquor. He was my counsel when I was charged with that little safe thing that involved Terri and Mr. Security. He got me a pretty good plea, then, just as the judge brought down the gavel, Thad threw up on the court reporter. It was just like Mr. Creosote in that Monty Python movie; glorious, impressive, world record-breaking projectile vomiting, a wonder of nature. Every time I’m in her courtroom since, she gives me the evil eye. Who knows what she’s putting in the transcripts. Why do I always get the blame? It wasn’t my fault.
I needed a plan. I headed towards the door.
“Leave the mug. It’s my Michelle Pfeiffer as Cat Woman mug.”
I noticed she was holding the Michael Keaton half of the set. When I put down the mug, I realized I had been holding it by the whip. I slipped my Cubs Jacket on, opened the door, and blew Val a kiss as I closed it. I should marry that woman.
I hit the sidewalk. Valerie’s door opened. Was she going to blow me a kiss?
“Don’t get arrested.” She slammed the door.
I had a plan.